Fluoroorganics offers many advantages over nonfluorinated organics, including high stability, tolerance to extreme environmental conditions, and profound effects upon tuning the electronic and optical properties. They are found in many state-of-the-art materials, including active matrix liquid crystal displays and proton exchange membranes for fuel cells, and many medicines. We develop novel fluorinated materials for 1) air-stable and moisture-resistant organic semiconductors including organic solar cells (OSCs), organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs), and organic field effect transistors (OFETs); 2) fluorinated organic crystalline materials with controllable structure packing; 3) fluorinated carbon and related materials for high performance energy storage such as rechargeable batteries (lithium and sodium) and supercapacitors; and 4) prepare and utilize biocompatible polyfluorinated compounds to serve as dual imaging reagents, 19F MRI and Near infrared sensing reagents.

Recently, our group discovered a new fluorination method that coverts alcohols, aldehydes, carboxylic acids into the corresponding fluorinated derivatives under relatively mild conditions. We are continue exploring the scope of both reagents and substrates of this new fluorination method, as well as trying to understand the reaction mechanism through computational chemistry approaches.  

1. Fluorinated materials for air-stable and moisture-resistant n-type organic semiconductors

Aromatic perfluoroalkylation provides excellent opportunities to modulate optoelectronic properties of n-type organic semiconductor materials over a large range while providing stabilization against chemical and photochemical degradation.!divAbstract            J. Phys. Chem. A, 2012, 116 (30), pp 8015–8022
Chem. Commun. 48, 12085-12087 (2012).                                                     J. Phys. Chem. A, 2012, 116 (30), pp 8015–8022.
2. Perfluoroalkylation assisted crystalline materials design

Strengthening p-p interaction while suppressing T-shaped interaction, aromatic perfluoroalkylation controllably assists the formation of p-p stacked crystalline materials.

3. Computational and experimental studies of fluorination effects on weak non-covalent intermolecular interactions

Utilize quantum mechanical calculations (e.g. MP2 and DFT-D) to investigate how fluorination affects intermolecular non-covalent interactions, important for materials design and drug discovery.

4. Fluorinated carbon materials and additives for high performance energy storage applications
Developing new fluorination method for carbon materials and preparing new fluorinated additives for high performance energy storage devices, including secondary batteries and supercapacitors. Recently we applied fluorinated electrolytes and additives for nonflammable lithium batteries.

Cyclic voltammogram of polyfluoroether (HFE-7200) and CH3CN (6:4 v/v) with 0.1 M LiPF6 at 10 mV/s (left); pictures of flammability testing of diethylcarbonate (middle); and picture of flammability testing of fluorinated electrolyte solution (HFE-7200/CH3CN, 6:4 v/v) (right). The cotton balls were soaked with electrolyte solutions before ignition.

5. Biocompatible polyfluorinated compounds for in-vitro and in-vivo biomedical imaging

In-vitro and in-vivo biomedical imaging is critical for diagnosis and drug development. We prepare and utilize biocompatible polyfluorinated compounds to serve as biomedical imaging reagents, 19F MRI and Near infrared sensing reagents.